As a candidate, Diane Douglas, running to unseat John Huppenthal as Superintendent of Public Instruction, is making all the right moves.  She's making tremendous progress with her campaign and in delivering her message.  So much so, that Huppenthal has recently changed his own message to sound more like Diane's!  If one didn't follow this race, one would not think that Huppenthal has never liked common core, so much has his campaign speeches changed.  That may be a smart move for Huppenthal but most folks by now know better.

Diane clearly has a real love for education.  She is totally against Common Core, was one of the first to sound the alarm and has put herself out to thoroughly research that system.  She has worked to improve her campaign skills and is really connecting with voters. She is open to suggestions on improving her presentations to better communicate her message and she's putting those lessons into practice quickly.  As the citizen candidate tea parties yearn for, she's made some very critical moves to position herself to win the primary.  She accepts every invitation and does not back down to the incumbent. She’s the anti-Huppenthal!

What worries us about Douglas is that she is a one issue candidate, even though she is extremely knowledgeable about that one topic and says it is THE issue.   She also does not have the proven business experience to run an office as large and complex as this one.  We believe she can overcome that by hiring the right people to help her run the agency like so many others have successfully done. If she does put to work that ability to hire very good people to fill the holes, she will have a very successful term as Superintendent. 

But the best thing we like about Diane, and goes to the prior paragraph, is that she had a treasurer on her campaign that, while a very intelligent guy, was fraught with personality problems that put people off.  That is the last thing any candidate needs in a campaign as tough as this one.  Fortunately and for whatever reason, Diane has swept toxic personalities from her organization so she can focus on the important work of running an effective campaign.

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So where are the articles on the Jihadist Trng. Camps and The Zetas combining with Hezbollah???   You've got 3 articles on the same thing about Diane Douglas.  

This is Pat's wife, Florence.

I cannot agree with your conclusion that Diane is "extremely knowledgeable" about Common Core.  I will give a few examples.  At the debate last Tuesday she stated it is not internationally benchmarked.  Appendix A states:  "A Note on International Sources for the Standards:  In the course of developing the Standards, the writing team consulted numerous international models, including those from Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Australia (by state), Canada (by province), Singapore, the United Kingdom, and others..."

 

She continues to state it is a federal mandate despite the fact that several states did not sign up for it.  On p. 8, line 20 of the document she uses for proof, it states, "state adoption is voluntary." 

 

She continues talking about a data collection system where information is given to the federal government.  I have talked to the Arizona Department of Education.  There is no collection of gun ownership, voting record, etc. as some conservative blogs would have us believe, and the federal government is definitely not getting 400 items of information on each student.  The Education Department told me there is limited material collected for use with people who are instructing the student.  (This material is being collected for teacher benefit, not to pass on to the federal government). As a kindergarten through 8th grade reading teacher I know it is helpful to know how a student scored on their standardized reading test the previous year (in fact entrance into the Title I program is for students who score below the 35th percentile)

Her comment that data collection will "follow individuals through school and into and through their work life" is very misguided. 

She speaks of it as a "computer based system" yet I used computers far less with my students this first year of using Common Core.

She states people only found out about it in 2013.  If you look at http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/development-process/ it talks about the process starting in 2009.  

 

She seems to say that phonics isn’t being used in the Common Core.  This is very false.  If you look under the “Reading:  Foundational Skills” in each grade level, there is much material given for grades kindergarten to 5th grade.  Google RF.K.3, RF.1.3, RF.2.3, RF.3.3, RF.4.3, RF.5.3, etc.    

She talks about math as if students don’t memorize facts.  That also is untrue.   2.OA.B.2 states “…By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.”  3.OA.C.7 states, “By the end of Grade 3 know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.”  

 

Her slides show lattice math as if it is something that is a part of Common Core.  It is not.  Using the searchable function of a Common Core app the word lattice is never mentioned in the Common Core.  Her illustration is from the Everyday math curriculum.

 

She says students will be "less knowledgeable."  The latest AIMS test results show they performed better not worse.  Our old standards were rated B while Common Core math standards were rated A- and Common Core language arts standards were rated B+ by Fordham Institute (a right leaning organization).  Look at the reading lexile comparison at  http://fisherandfrey.com/_admin/_filemanager/File/Lexile_graph.pdf to see how much higher the reading levels are aiming. 

 

She has called Common Core "Obama plan" and "Barak Obama educating children."  I would see this as a very dishonest description.  I have never once heard President Obama pushing Common Core and he had nothing to do with writing it.  (In fact there was no federal money used to write it.)  It was a project of the states since their governors were concerned that their students needed remediation before entering college or the work force. 

She calls it a "federal takeover."  Do you know who chooses the curriculum?  It is the local authorities as has been done before.  There is no national curriculum.  In fact now that all teachers are aiming for some of the same goals, you can google any standard (RL.3.3, RI.1.3, etc.) and now find hundreds of ideas on how to teach each standard.  So instead of teachers have a very narrow federal curriculum, we now have a myriad of ideas out there to use for each standard.   

As a conservative I always thought I was on the side of the truth tellers.  There is much falsehood going around about the Common Core Standards.  They are a higher standard than we had before.  There is a lot of student thinking going on in them. 

I feel Diane has accepted as true statements that when examined are really false.   

Thanks, Florence.  We have had this discussion previously and we just don't agree.  Many states are now looking more closely at common core and are coming to the conclusion that this is a really terrible program. Over 20 states that signed on to it have withdrawn.  Parents are looking behind the curtain at common core and withdrawing their children from schools using it.  Many teachers are coming to the same conclusion and some are leaving common core schools for schools that have not yet been made to use common core or are leaving the teaching industry altogether.  We've interviewed private and charter school owners who agree that common core is wrong for children and have not allowed it in their schools.  That tells rational people that there is a big problem with it.  We support Diane Douglas on this issue and even now, we've been to forums between Huppenthal and Douglas and even he is now sounding like he's against it.  He's not, of course, but he's doing it because he knows parents, who are voters, are now tuned in to the problems with common core.  We see it one way, and have not wavered over time as we learn even more through research, and you feel another way.  That's fine.  We are just on different sides and our members seem to be on the anti-common core side as well.  

Aside from the obvious,  at least to those with the IQ and common sense above that of a moron,  the CCore is another attempt for an overreaching govt. to sway/influence the children into their way of thinking.  And if it is implemented, my children will start homeschooling.

To Ron Thompson from Florence:  I use the K-8 language arts standards every day.  There is NOTHING in them that has the government swaying or influencing children.  They consist of things like "Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds." (RF.1.3.c) and "Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as  well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text."  (RI.2.2)  I'll send $250 to your favorite charity if you can give ONE K-8 language arts standard that has the government trying to sway or influence children.  The Apple app store has free Common Core apps which have searchable features where you can search for any term that you think might be in them. 

Sorry but #1, I'm not from Florence.  #2,  the U.S. govt. has a habit of screwing up everything that they involve themselves in.   Putting them in a position to "influence" the teachings of our yth. is not something that I will support.  Common Core does just that,  regardless of how you spin it.  

To Ron from Florence Smith:  The Common Core Standards were not created by the federal government.  They were asked for by the state governors, since students were needing remediation before going into college or the work place.  People are wanting you to believe that this is from the federal government.  That is not correct.  Here is what some states say:  (Illinois) "Developing the new standards has been a state-led initiative..."  (Alabama) "was a state-led effort..."  (Idaho) "...a set of higher expectations...that were developed by state leaders to ensure that every student graduates high school prepared for the future." (Look up your own selection of states if you are doubtful.)  The National Governors Association told me that the governors had approached them. 

All the influencing that is done will happen from the curriculum used.  The choice of the curriculum is made by the local authorities.

Sorry but I trust not the fed. govt. to have their hands in anything.   Especially, the education dept.  They have.over time, proven themselves to be ineffective at best and downright anti-constitutional at worst.  The one thing where they used to be half way efficient was protecting the citizens, but now,  with our southern border and it's open door policy to criminals and terrorists alike,  they can't even do that right!

Tests control standards, standards control curriculum.  No matter who created this monstrosity, it will be implemented and amended under the control of the federal Department of Education.  That is where the problem goes viral.  There is a reason for the old joke, "I am from the federal government and I am here to help you."  We need to maintain Arizona control of the testing because it controls standards and curriculum.

Home schooling won't help.  The intent of the federal government, regardless of opposing opinion, is that common core intrude on all schooling methods.  The colleges are already requiring the PARCC test be passed to be accepted for enrollment instead of the SAT.  That is a test that is not even implemented, has not been field tested, yet the colleges and major universities and smaller colleges except for private faith based institutions are planning to use the PARCC test.  That pretty much forces kids onto CC. However, some of these institutions have re-opened their decision for further review.  Many charter schools, some of which we have interviewed on this subject, realize they will have to change their curriculum or close their doors.  They certainly understand the federal role in this!

To:  Arizona Freedom Alliance from Florence:

 

The PARCC test WAS field tested this spring on over 1 million students. 

 

I can't agree with you that "That pretty much forces kids onto CC."  Any good standards will have students learning to find the main idea, determining a word's meaning by context, learning phonics concepts, etc.  A teacher I work with said about CC:  "These are the same things we have always taught - just in other words."  (I would also see CC as aiming higher.)  Any good instruction should be having the students able to pass the tests.  I would see students under these standards having to better understand what they read and able to make inferences.  (Ex.:  the selection may talk about barking and wagging a tail, but never tell students that it is a dog.  They have to figure that out.  That is a simple [and maybe silly] example, but I am trying to illustrate that students need to put all the facts together in a selection because many of the samples I have seen have students having to do a lot of thinking.)

Why do you think that federal intervention in direct contravention of the Constitution and federal law is a proper thing to do.  We all know that the current resident of the White House and his minions have very little respect for the laws and will commit impeachable offenses to get their own way.  Their track record is a predictor of future actions, including CC.

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